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There are many ways to measure the moisture of hay. If you are experienced, you can test for moisture by hand, but the results are often inaccurate. An oven can give more accurate results, but the testing process is complicated. A hay moisture tester, which displays moisture levels in seconds, is the most effective and simple tool.

Proper moisture levels are critical to producing high-quality hay and reducing economic losses. This prevents mold growth and maintains the color and feed value of the hay. Whether you are a seller or a buyer, it is important to test the moisture content of your hay before baling.

A hay moisture tester is a reliable tool for accurately measuring the moisture of your hay. Many hay moisture meters are on the market, but LumBuy offers the best for your reference.


A hay moisture tester, also called a hay moisture meter, a bale moisture tester, or a hay moisture probe, is used to test how much moisture is present in the hay before baling. It is essential whether you are a seller or a buyer. It helps you check if the grass is baled at the correct moisture level, thus preventing mold production and maintaining the color and feed value of the hay.

The hay moisture meter uses the principle of electrical resistance. Because moisture conducts electricity, damp hay will allow electricity to pass through more easily, leading to higher readings. When you insert the probe into the hay, the hay is like a component in a circuit that reads the resistance in the hay. It uses the amount of resistance to that current to measure the moisture content in the grass.

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General Tools






There are many factors to consider before purchasing a hay moisture tester. We have listed some factors for your reference and hope they will be helpful to you.

  • Windrow Moisture Tester VS Bale Moisture Tester
There may be differences between the two types.

Since there are many open-air holes in the loose hay, we recommend that you get a windrow moisture tester.

A bale moisture tester is suitable for hay bales because it can reach the inside of hay bales. Usually, the length of the probe is at least 1/2 to 2/3 of the thickness of the hay bale.

  • Casing Construction
When buying a hay moisture meter, check that the housing is thick and sturdy. Since the internal components are sensitive, only a sturdy housing can protect them properly.

  • Moisture Range
It should be able to measure moisture within the recommended range for hay bales with 100% accuracy.

The type of grass and bale density will affect the optimum moisture content of the hay bale. The most common ones are as follows.

- Small square bales: 18-20% MC

- Large square bales: 12-16% MC

- Round bales: 15% MC

Ensure the tester can accurately detect moisture in the 8% to 30% MC range and get an accurate reading, rather than displaying results below % MC.

  • Continuous mode
If you check hay moisture while baling, you need a baler-mounted moisture tester with a continuous mode that can measure hay in the baler. Then you don't have to leave the tractor's cab as often.

  • Calibration
Even high-quality hay moisture probes may not work well. To ensure that the results are correct, you should check the meter's calibration.

Moisture content standards (MSC) or a built-in calibration check are available. The MCS provides a specific reading value when connected to the moisture sensor probe. The hay moisture probe may be out of calibration if the readings are different.

  • How to test hay moisture before baling?
Most hay moisture meters do not allow accurate measurements directly from the windrow.

You will need to fill a 20-40 liter bucket with hay. The higher the density, the more accurate the reading will be.

Mix the hay in the bucket, recompact and re-measure.

The average of the readings is the hay moisture level.

Repeat these steps in several parts of the field, especially where the hay is thickest.

  • How to use a hay moisture tester when baling?
A fixed sensor is connected to the LCD screen inside the cab. It will show you the average and current moisture content in real-time. This allows you to take corrective action if the moisture content is incorrect.

  • How to use a bale moisture tester?
Insert the hay moisture meter into the bale.

Wait for the reading to become stable.

Record the reading.

Repeat the test on the same bale.

The average of the readings is the final moisture content.

If a gauge is not calibrated, the results obtained can be incorrect, which can significantly impact the work quality. Therefore, to get accurate readings, it is vital to ensure that the bale moisture tester is in calibration.

Since not all bale moisture testers are the same, you should know the different methods. Some have a built-in calibration check where you just need to press a button. However, some do not have a built-in check, and you may have to use a different test method. The most common is the use of moisture content standards . There are two main types: pin and pinless bale moisture testers. Each uses a different calibration test tool.

Generally, if no preservatives are used, the ideal moisture content should be between 18 and 20%. If chemicals are used, follow the optimum moisture content in the manual.

In addition, the moisture content depends on the shape of the bale. For large square bales or round bales, you should keep moisture content between 12-16%. Small square bales' moisture content should be from 18% to 20%.